C-Squared Podcast: Caruana reflects on his performance at the Candidates

by ChessBase
5/4/2024 – It has been two weeks since Dommaraju Gukesh became the youngest-ever World Chess Championship challenger after obtaining outright victory at the Candidates Tournament. The player who was closest to catching Gukesh in the final round was Fabiano Caruana, who missed clear winning chances in his round-14 game against Ian Nepomniachtchi. In the latest episode of the C-Squared Podcast, Caruana reflects on his performance and the development of the tournament in general. Unmissable. | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

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The Candidates Tournament finished almost two weeks ago, with Gukesh emerging victorious after half the field entered the final round with chances to win the event. A very close race, the tournament in Toronto had six players within a 1-point distance from the leaders after the tenth round (out of 14).

Vidit Gujrathi was the first one to fall out of contention, and was followed by his compatriot Praggnanandhaa. Coincidentally, it was Fabiano Caruana who defeated the two Indian grandmasters in back-to-back rounds (12 and 13) to stay in the fight for first place.

Caruana’s consecutive wins left him tied for second place going into the final round. Since he had white against Ian Nepomniachtchi — also a contender for the title (which meant he also needed to go for a win) — he had a good shot at reaching a potential tiebreaker.

The US grandmaster managed to get clear winning chances against Nepomniachtchi, but failed to convert them in what ended up being a titanic, 109-move battle. The contenders’ exchange after agreeing to a draw was surely revealing.

Luckily for chess fans, Caruana shares his ideas openly on an excellent podcast co-hosted by his second and friend Cristian Chirila. In the latest episode, the former World Championship challenger reflects on the Candidates, noting:

In terms of my emotions, the difficulty is in the fact that I got not only a chance but I got basically...the ball is practically in the net, there is no defender there, it’s an open goal. And there’s where the disappointment comes in.

The full episode

Navigating the Ruy Lopez Vol.1-3

The Ruy Lopez is one of the oldest openings which continues to enjoy high popularity from club level to the absolute world top. In this video series, American super GM Fabiano Caruana, talking to IM Oliver Reeh, presents a complete repertoire for White.


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